|The Common Toad (Bufo bufo)|
Back in April 2009, a large earthquake (6.3 on the Richter Scale) hit the town of L'Aguila in central Italy. There was no warning. Yet, somehow, a group of breeding toads are thought to have "sensed" the earthquake days before it struck. The toads were living in a lake 74 km from L'Aguila and were observed leaving their spawning ground a few days before the earthquake and returning a few days after. A group of scientists were studying the toads at the time and now they have released a study in the Journal of Zoology outlining the strange behaviour. It is suggested that the toads may have been able to detect the release of radioactive radon gas from the ground, which would have been released in greater amounts due to the seismic activity. Animal super senses are not new. We know that pigeons can detect the Earth's magnetic field while navigating, that sharks can detect one drop of blood in 100 litres of water and that bats can use ultra sonics to "see in the dark". The Independent Newspaper in the UK have more on this brilliant story. Click here to read more!